The Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council administration has seemingly extensive rate- and taxpayer-funded resources for communicating its activities and policies. For example, the monthly newsletter landing in everyone’s mailbox, backed up by council advertising and Administrator messages in weekly publications.
We noticed Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is using a cute way of getting their pitch for the proposed Ellerton Drive Extension (EDE) across in their latest newsletter. Here are ten important things about the EDE that you haven’t heard from the Council.
- The proposed EDE isn’t needed to ‘flood-proof’ the CBD. The dip in Bungendore Rd could be fixed for under $2 million and the low-level crossing on Morisset St could be raised for far less than the cost of the EDE.
- The proposed EDE is not a bypass. The EDE would cut through suburbs, not skirt them.
- The proposed EDE won’t keep most heavy vehicles out of the city centre. Only Holcim quarry trucks can be directed to use the EDE.
- The proposed EDE won’t take much traffic out of the CBD. Council’s best estimate is a 5% drop on projected (not current) traffic volumes.
- The proposed EDE was the least effective option in the Googong and Tralee Traffic Study. Upgrading 13 major intersections needed to support the EDE would do more to reduce traffic congestion than the EDE itself.
- Council’s justification for the proposed EDE keeps changing. The most recent one is reducing bushfire risk. But the EDE may increase bushfire risk. For example, with new subdivisions planned in the bush area but reliant on this road being built. [Ed: see story this page of recent bushfire causes].
- The proposed EDE is supposed to accommodate traffic from Tralee and Googong. But it’s nowhere near Tralee and most Googong residents will travel through Jerrabomberra, doubling traffic volumes and causing congestion at several intersections.
- The decision to build the EDE was undemocratic. It was made by a NSW coalition government-appointed Administrator, Tim Overall, after the government sacked Queanbeyan and Palerang councillors.
- There are more effective options not taken seriously. The northern (city) bypass route was developed in the mid-1990s and could be upgraded. Dunns Creek Rd would take Googong traffic directly to the Monaro Highway.
- Federal representative Mike Kelly has unveiled an alternate transport strategy linking Queanbeyan, Palerang and the ACT, recently presented to Googong residents. A summary version includes $2 million each for the following three initiatives:
– Developing a cross border strategy for public transport including commuter passenger trains;
– Studies leading to duplication of Pialligo Road from the airport to Queanbeyan (which would link to the existing northern bypass and continue to the King’s Highway);
– Address flooding issue in Queanbeyan centre with an upgrade to the Queens Bridge ‘dip’; plus
– $600,000 to complete studies for Dunn’s Creek Road linking Googong to the Monaro Highway
The Queanbeyan Conservation Alliance also describes its understanding of EDE finances.